The Puente Program invited family and friends to learn how best to help students achieve success in the Puente learning community. Dean Mary Gutierrez and Program Services Coordinator Marisa Thigpen welcomed the assembled families of the two Puente cohorts and invited students and their families to stop by to ask for help or merely to say hello. This set the tone of welcome continued by the presentation of services: Flor Lopez spoke about all the services offered by SparkPoint, Pamela Ortiz Cerda let everyone know about the Dream Center, Aileen Conmigo shared how to access the Financial Aid office and key deadlines, and Jorge Murillo spoke to the benefits of the EOP&S program.
Guests also had the opportunity to hear from former Puente students as well as mentors (a big thank you to panelists Michele Haggar, Cindy Castillo, Jorge Murillo, Leandro Torres-Mantilla, Kimberly Cano-Avena, Jeremiah Holbrook, and Pricsilla Sanchez-Lopez).
During the event, students were able to share what would best help them to succeed and families and friends shared what they could offer to their students. This is important because being part of the “familia” is what Puente is all about—with the love and support from family members and the community, students are more easily able to reach their academic goals. Special thanks to Rocio Aguilar-Pedroza, Alberto Santellan, Denise Hum, and Marisa Thigpen for their facilitation as well as assistance at the event.
Article by Lucia Lachmayr